Today the lovely Corrine Jackson joins us on MPB to tell us how the Character of Names helped her write her soldiers and those left behind.
The Character of the Names from IF I LIE
When I began writing IF I LIE, I had this idea of using themes from THE SCARLET LETTER. Some of the characters were modeled after the characters in THE SCARLET LETTER. So Quinn was Hester, Blake was Chillingsworth, and Carey was Dimmesdale. I intended to play with themes of light and dark. Of course, after I wrote a few chapters I threw out all similarities to Hawthorne’s novel and the “light and dark” concept. All that remains is the reasoning behind why I chose these characters’ names.
Quinn’s name is very closely tied to her identity. She goes by different names throughout the book, depending on who she is with. This becomes very important to her for reasons I won’t spoil for you.
· Sophie Topper Quinn (alternately goes by Quinn, Q, and Sophie) – Sophie means “wisdom” and one meaning of Quinn is “counsel.” I wish I could say that I planned that, but it was a happy accident. Quinn’s middle name of Topper comes from her uncle. Sophie arrived with her entire name intact, which doesn’t happen often for me. I had no idea why she had such a weird middle name, but it became clear very quickly. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.
· Carey Breen (Sophie’s Boyfriend) –Alternate meanings of Carey are “light” or “well loved,” and these fit my initial concept of this character. He changed quite a bit from my original outline, but he’s a hero and the name fit well. Breen also means “sadness” and this seemed so apt for what his family goes through when he goes MIA.
· Blake Kelly (Carey’s Best Friend) – One meaning of Blake is “dark” and Kelly can mean “strife” or “war.” He was initially intended to represent the dark side of secrets, though he became something else when I moved away from my original concept.
· Lieutenant Cole Quinn (Quinn’s Dad) – Cole means “victory of the people.” This seems fitting since Quinn’s dad is a Marine through and through. I also liked how hard, cold and strong this name sounded with those consonants. This fits his character.
· Sophie Quinn (Quinn’s Mom) – Sophie is named after her mom. Hence, the same name.
· George Wilkins (Vietnam vet) – George was born with his name. I wrote a scene with him and Quinn, and this sweet, gruff man couldn’t have gone by any other moniker.
IF I LIE (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, August 28, 2012)